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Preview: The Texas Woman

The Texas Woman

Updated: 2018-02-08T18:14:56.493-06:00


Decorating my washing machine!


If it's a flat surface or a blank space, I will decorate it! Seriously. Just ask Juan Patient-Husband.So it stands to reason my new washing machine was doomed the day it was delivered. Talk about a blank canvas!What follows is its wordless (almost) story.Pantries across from washing machine. Notice almost secret sliding door to master closet.Doomed washer!Designing on my Mac.Cutting on my Silhouette Cameo but you could alsouse individual press-on letters.This is called "weeding." I use blue painter's tape for letter transferring. Use ruler, level, and pencil for proper placement.And BINGO!Another blank space conquered!Second rule/wisdom is a family joke, which is why I like to make my own signs. Happy laundry day! [...]

My chippy addiction!


Michael, here's the chippy cabinet I bought from Renee at Round Top/Warrenton a week ago.The patina is so lovely!And I adore the fact that someone made repairs to the piece many years ago. The back even has a flat tobacco tin covering a hole made by some long dead mouse family.The finish on the top has been worn down to smooth wood but it has so many beautiful brown and red colors in it.I wish this piece could talk. The stories it could tell, unlike the next piece which I made new. I did give the new wood as chippy of a look as I could, though. Do you recognize the towel hanging bar?It's leftover decoration from the bedstead gate that Juan Handyman made me! Yes, I hoard everything! Get over it, son!!! [...]

Come be my guest!


Last year my friend Renee gave me four of these chairs. Three had severe caning problems as well as joint issues. 

So I decided to take two of them and make a chairbench to use as a luggage holder in one of the guest bedrooms.

I wish I could say it was as easy as it looks! Maybe if I had two more hands or a helper it would have gone smoother but I finally got the frame done. 

This would make a great pallet wood project but I used the wood from the frame of a futon which Renee and I had found on one of our garage sale runs.

So I filled in all the recessed screw holes...

...and painted the whole thing Annie Sloan's Primer Red...

...just in time for weekend company!


My Pinto Bean Burlap Bag!


Take this burlap sack...

(from my wonderful sister Connie in Colorado)

...a little bit of matching material...

...some time...

...and you've got yourself a designer tote...

...with pockets for everything - your Kindle, a bottle of water, lipstick, and...


My cousin Marsha and I are going to the Round Top/Warrenton Tx. Antique show this weekend! WHOOP!


What do you do...


...with all those pillows on your bed? 

You know. The ones that crawl halfway to the bottom of the bed. The ones your husband hates because there are so many of them and they are over the place! 

See this old pine wardrobe? 

All my pretty pillows go in there! The shelving side holds all my jeans...the jeans that are one size too big. The jeans that are one size too small. And the jeans that today fit me just right. You know what I'm talkin' about. 

During the daytime, our sleeping pillows rest in the wardrobe. No stuffing them into pillow covers and placing them onto the bed for me. That's too much work!  Plus we sleep with LOTS of pillows!

Where do you put your pillows? 

(image) (image)

Birdbath in the Bedroom


I met these three sweeties at a "pre" garage sale... ...and just had to take them home.I mean, who could resist them?They were hanging around a birdbath but I couldn't bear to leave them outside where they belonged!So I put the whole thing in the corner of our master bedroom. Instead of filling it with water, I loaded it up with my jewels... ...and added a glass top......turning this birdbath into a corner table for my morning coffee.If I only drank coffee!Of course, when you're on top, you must have a tiara![...]

Claiming Reclaimed Wood


Weathered wood. Barn wood. Reclaimed wood. It's beautiful no matter what you call it. I found the sides of an old, red grain truck in a friend's barn and quickly claimed the reclaimed wood! Heavy. Oh, my, they were heavy but Juan Hauls-It-All helped me lug them home. My idea was to turn this room......into this room...So I separated the boards, scrubbed them clean of dirt and bugs, and started planning the best way to use the limited supply of long boards.The wall is 13 feet across with windows five and a half feet apart. The boards were 16 feel long. To make the boards go as far as possible with the smallest amount of seaming, I decided to rip some boards that were in almost unusable condition and use them to trim around the window. The trim work cut the between window width to five feet exactly, letting me get three boards from each 16 foot board.To help wedge together the tongue and groove boards Juan showed me how to use a small jack and a long board. Every time I put a new board up, I also had to chop off five inches of the long board. I ended up with a very short board!With that system in place, it was just a matter of working down the wall until I got under the windows. At that point I started working up from the bottom. I knew I would have to piece together one row of board and I didn't want it to be the bottom one. A whole board would make the bottom edge even and make working on the electrical boxes easier.   At Lowe's they sell a little blue see-through box called an outlet extension for a whole $1.39.As its name implies, the box extends the original outlet box to make the outlet cover flush with the new wall surface. BE SURE TO TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY AT THE FUSE BOX (or whatever they call those boxes nowadays) BEFORE PUTTING IN THESE EXTENDERS!  I figure if you're handy enough to be redoing wall surfaces, you'll easily be able to add these extenders!Perfect is good enough![...]



Before we built the perfect country house on our perfect country place (in fact, long before we even put the travel trailer on the land), I placed an old enamelware thunder bucket in the shed and hung a roll of tissue on an enormous nail nearby.

Us girls need our privacy. Boys can find a tree!

We hadn't been back to that corner of the shed in awhile. And when Juan Explorer did venture there yesterday...

...wasps were using the tissue... an unconventional way...

...with an unconventional window.

They were evicted!


Corbels - The Finishing Detail


A corbel is an architectural bracket or block projecting from a wall and supporting (or appearing to support) a ceiling, beam, or shelf. ( Corbels don't have to be fancy to add the perfect finishing touch to a porch. They can even be homemade.Take my star corbel, for example. Simple. Easy to make. And looks great, if I do say so myself!It took some experimenting to come up with a design I liked and could do with the tools I already owned - a bandsaw and a chop saw. A scroll saw would do but might make the job a lot harder.I used a 1 x 12 for the main part of the corbel, using the pattern I'd made to trace each one on the board. Notice how I cut in from the corner to cut out the star.And I made a bunch of them, enough for the back side of the porch. I'll be making 58 in all. Phew!After I screwed the piece onto a base, I used painters caulk to fill in the cut-in from corner to star. Then I painted the whole thing.A screw on each end of the corbel and it was easily hung.They make a nice finishing touch for the back porch, I think.And only 42 more corbels to make![...]

Texas Tail Continued


Yesterday I told you the tale of acquiring an antique windmill and hanging it in our home. We had designed our great room around this vintage sculpture, reinforcing the wall in the stud stage and adding a dedicated spotlight in the electrical stage. Hanging was made easy with two sturdy hooks buried into the reinforced wall.When this big guy crashed to the ground many, many years ago, the tail had taken the brunt of the fall. Juan Handyman straightened it as best he could without eliminating the character that age and accident had created.Two screws hold the four foot tail to the wall. A small bird adds the focal point the sculpture needed.A cowboy boot bench grounds the gigantic piece of art to the ten foot high wall.Yes, the playing cards are faux painted on the bench. And now our great room is finished.Day or night, we love this piece of vintage art.Goodnight, sweet little birdie.(No real birdies were hurt for this windmill.)  [...]

Long Texas Tale of a Windmill Tail


Ever fall in love with something that (a.) you didn't have a need for, (b.) you didn't have space for, and, most important, (c.) you couldn't have?

That's what happened to me and this grounded windmill on my friend's dairy farm. Oh, I coveted their antique windmill. But they loved it too.

Years passed. My friends closed their dairy and bought a deer farm. Their windmill love transferred to TWO working old windmills on the new place, freeing my grounded love for display in my new home.

It flew into the house on rays of sunshine and the strong arms of Juan Good-Guy and two of his friends.

Since it's eight feet across, the windmill was relieved of three of its blades to fit through the doorway but they were immediately replaced.

The vintage sculpture wasn't finished but other projects needed to be completed. It was enough for me to see this much in place.

(To be continued tomorrow.)




Dear Missy Redlover, 

Thank you for the vintage wire basket filled with goodies. 

I adored everything in it AND the basket itself. As you can see, I put it to good decorative use immediately, leaving on, of course, that wonderful medallion of Texas.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You, lady, have a knack for decorating, whether it's your home or your gift packages! 



Reluctantly white!


You know that I paint ANYTHING that holds still!But I also love the natural aging of things, like the patina on my in-laws first bed.For years we used it at the old house as a firescreen but it was too big for the fireplace in the new house.And then I saw THIS on Pinterest:Absolutely beautiful!I HAD to have a gate like that!So after minimum pleading on my part, Juan Great-Handyman made me one out of his parent's bed.Oh, I loved it!It made my heart sing! disappeared into the colors of the landscape.Reluctantly, I painted it white like the board fence.Much better! And to keep little doggies in...I backed the gate with welded wire.Perfect. The old chain also held a gate shut on Juan's parent's farm years ago.There was only one thing left to put this beauty over the top......and they come around every night before sunset.Ain't country livin' grand! [...]

The light of my life!


I fell in love with the shape of this chandi when I saw it on Pinterest! (And you KNOW I like the color!)So when I saw THIS chandi in somebody's garage while I was buying something else, I had to get it too!I wasn't crazy about the shiny metal so......I took all the crystals off to wash them. While it was a hanging skeleton, I painted it with - what else - Annie Sloan's (AS) Duck Egg chalk paint!And, of course, I waxed the painted metal (clear wax first, then dark wax, then clear again) to get that aged patina I love so well.  AS chalk paint adheres to just about every type of surface. Well, put it this way: I've never met a surface it didn't adhere to!I LOVED IT!So I hung it in my...master bath!(I wonder where else this beauty has hung. Someone's dining room someplace, that's for sure.) I even painted the metal ceiling plates duck egg!OH, CHANDI LOVE! [...]

More chalk paint magic!


I had looked at every garage and estate sale, asked every hoarder friend (of which I have many!), and checked out every antique store...twice...when there it was. The perfect size. The perfect shape. The perfect dining room buffet, just waiting to be rejuvenated into the perfect bathroom vanity.And I was just the woman to do it! So once again I pulled out my Annie Sloan Duck Egg Chalk Paint and performed Annie Sloan magic.Since it was going to be used in the master bath, I made sure it got a GOOD waxing, first with clear wax, then with dark wax, then with clear again.I needed, of course, the perfect sink for the piece. Really, I needed TWO sinks. I had to get twice as lucky with the sinks but with the help of the gal at my plumber's supply house, I got these two beauties, which are discontinued models. Isn't that always the way it goes? She really came through for me.The shower curtain is a Wal-Mart cheapie but I love it. It ties together the the chalk paint colors and the flooring. Don't hate me for going to WM this once!Next post? Lighting for this room. You won't believe it!!!No, not these lights. You'll just have to stay tuned![...]

What I do to save a buck!


Or:How cheap am I?Rails on one side on the house are done. Whoopee!Dern, that was a lot of rails - a hundred and fifty on that side alone, and that's a short side!At a buck a spindle (or more, depending on the deals at the box stores that week), that's a bunch of money!And I have a bunch of rails to go! So, how cheap am I? I make my own rails. First, I go to my stack of lovely scrap wood that my son Michael and I stacked neatly. I am a hoarder of wood and he's my enabler!   (That wavy wooden thing in back of the stack is a long bench I made from hoarded lumber.)I then cut down the selected wood to the desired size......and rip it to make the rails.Then it's just a matter of chopping the ends......and rounding the edges with the sander.How cheap am I? Pretty dern cheap. But it puts about $600 in my pocket and all it took was a little time and a penchant for hoarding![...]

Hangin' with my towel


For me, good meals are not defined by ingredients used but by the number of hand towels involved in the preparation. I use a bunch! But I never seem to have one when I'm working at my butcher block. So I decided to add a towel hanger to its side.I wanted to use an old rolling pin but didn't have a clue how to hang it. So I went through my garage sale curtain rod supply box. There were the usual ugly ones that could work...but like I said, they were UGLY!   There was a way-too-fancy one. Not in MY house! But then, like Goldilocks found, there was one that was just right! Four screws and I was ready to hang with my towel!Another touch of red for my kitchen. And it was SO easy! Where do you hang YOUR towel? [...]

Indoor Screen Doors


Chance. It's a fickle thing.And it was just by chance that I found two - yes, TWO - matching old screen doors at an estate sale. But fickle me didn't buy them when I first saw them! WHAT was I thinking!Luckily, I knew the ladies running the sale and after thinking about those doors all afternoon, I gave them a call. The screen doors were still there!And for a sadly low price, they were gonna be mine! I had just the place for them.My kitchen has two pantries - a china pantry and a food pantry. These old screen doors would be perfect for them...after they went through a quick rehab.Although the screening didn't have any holes, I didn't want that nasty, rusty stuff near food and dishes. The doors also needed a paint job with, of course, Annie Sloan's Duck Egg paint.(Note: Box stores make screen replacing easy. So easy, in fact, I was amazed and so glad I had ventured into that part of the redo. It made all the difference.)The plus that put the project over the top was the bread sign my youngest son had brought home years ago. I gave it a good waxing and put it on the food pantry door.And, of course, I had to add blocks of wood to hold the doors closed...just like grandma had on her screen door!Grandma would have loved this project![...]

The Country Mud Bench


The two busiest places in my kitchen are the refrigerator and the mud bench. Luckily, they're side by side.Although the refrigerator cost a bundle, the mud bench was free and so easy! In fact, the hardest part about the mud bench was chiseling out a space to put it. In my old house, this space held the garbage can. What a waste of space that was!To make this seat, I grabbed an old end table from storage. Here it is in an old Christmas picture from 2000.I flipped over the table, unscrewed the legs and sides, then used a circular saw to cut down the top. While it was apart, I also cut down the legs to make the table a more comfortable sitting height. Then I slapped on a coat of paint (my favorite color is Annie Sloan's Duck Egg).The top of the bench is made from leftover wood from the cabinet maker but you could use pallet wood or barn wood. For caps and jackets, I added an old garage sale shelf to the top and old doorknobs I'd collected. Then I screwed the unit to the wall, patched over the screw holes, and distressed the whole thing with clear wax, then dark wax. (Here's a waxing tip: Clean up your wax brushes with hot water and Dawn Dishwashing Soap. Easy, cheap cleanup!)Since we live in the country, I knew this would be a busy area so I wanted my bench and hanging unit to be separate. That way I could clean out the mud tray under the seat easily. So have a seat. Change your shoes. Grab the dog leashes and get a cola from the frig. It's time to go for a walk![...]

Venting at the New House


I hate that "new house" look and feel. So fresh, so perfect, so...uninteresting!In fact, I hate it so much that long before our builder started on our new house I made plans for architectural details that would give the place an old, country look. With a little demolition, anyone can add these types of details to their home.Take my kitchen vent hood for instance.On second thought, DON’T take it. I wanta keep it right where it’s at.After the kitchen walls were constructed in our new house, the carpenter marked where the cabinets were to be placed. I wasn’t liking it. Even though he and I had had “the talk”, he wasn’t giving me the space I needed for the vent hood.“OK,” he told me, “I’ll start Monday. That gives you two days to build your vent hood before we begin on your cabinets.”Two days? Talk about pressure.So ignoring the marks on the wall, my husband and I started building, keeping in mind the standard vent hood innards I'd bought at a box store. I already knew the design I wanted – something big to go with the 10-foot ceiling, something recycled to go with the rest of the décor, and something unique that would match the future fireplace at the other end of the room.I’d been hoarding barn wood from a friend’s dairy for this project. I just didn't think I'd be building with it so soon!(Note: If you're using old barn wood, know what it was originally used for. I would not want to use wood from a chicken house [yuck] or chemically-treated wood [dangerous fumes]. My boards came from a hay fence but I still gave them a good scrubbing.)Old wood has good features and bad. On the plus side, you can make mistakes or mishandle the wood and all mars disappear among the rest of the interesting, aged marks.On the down side, the wood can be crooked, bowed, and rough, making it hard to work with. Also, when I had to rip or cut a piece, I had to get out my craft paints to make the newly-revealed fresh wood look just as old as the rest of the boards. Late, late, LATE Sunday night I put the final coat of varnish on our beautiful vent hood. We’d made the deadline. Monday morning, after remarking the cabinet placement, the carpenters started building our kitchen cabinets.On his last day of work at the house, the head carpenter confessed that when he walked into the house that Monday morning, he was shocked (in a good way) at what we had designed and built. Hooray for DIY!P.S. In case you're wondering, the microwave is in a cubby below the counter top, an easier position to work with for us short cooks.[...]

Saddle up...


(image) ...up on the wall, that is.

This championship saddle was found at - where else - a garage sale. It was their grandpa's and they were tired of hauling it from house to house with every move they made. They had long ago cut the stirrups off for easier storage.

I saw a saddle mounted like this in a sales brochure once. They wanted well over a thousand dollars for it. For fifteen dollars I knew I had to try duplicating it. I burned out the motor of my jig saw and broke two jig blades and three hacksaw blades, but I finally had two separate pieces of saddle. I felt like a doctor just out of surgery.

Then I lined a frame with barnwood, built a shelf and covered it with burlap and the green saddle blanket, then screwed the saddle from the back onto the barnwood. The saddle was then lined with old rope to cover defects, and we hung our 3-D piece among other works of art behind the couch.

This piece is great for a western house. My challenge to you is to think of other things that can be cut in two and mounted in a frame for 3-D art.

Linked Up to Funky Junk Interiors.


Like a Phoenix


Just like the song says, what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours.When we last left the McDebt McMansion site Monday evening, this was our view - a nice slab of concrete with some iron work for porches.What we were greeted with upon arrival Tuesday evening made me gasp with pleasure. The McDebt McMansion, like a phoenix, rises!In one day - ONE DAY - the whole first floor sprang into the air, although I doubt if the crew that worked on it in the 100 degree heat felt it went up so easily!Here Juan McDebtor enters the back door for the first view his land through the newly-formed front windows......and back ones.And as the sun sets outside of one of the great room's windows (dramatic, huh?), Juan and I marvel at the whirling thoughts and ideas chockablock (my word for the day) in our brains as we dare plan for the unknown future.Through the combined good fortune of my sister from Denver finding this lovely property and the new neighbors becoming loving friends AND our building contractor, Juan McDebtor and I indeed feel blessed.[...]

Tote and Table


I am so excited to give you a sneak peak of my old tool tote and farm table sitting in my new home.My new home isn't totally weatherized yet...but I feel it will be done any day now.I bought the old tote several husbands ago, before tool totes had any value at all. I picked it up for a song, and maybe a dance, not even knowing what I'd do with it. When the boys were young, the tote sat in the hall by the back door and held their muddy shoes and boots. Then it graduated to the garage where Juan Last Husband used it for it's intended purpose - tools!Now it has been upgraded to the house once again and has a place of honor because when we bought this property, guess what I found in one of the outbuildings? This beautiful farm table!Oh, it was in terrible shape......cupped top boards, termite damage, deep gouges, and chippy legs. But it was huge and had such potential! When Juan Last Husband and I were moving it, he noticed printing burned into one leg.It reads, "A. & M. C. Dining Hall".Now for all you non-Aggies, A&M University hasn't been a college since 1963. So this baby is OLD. Being retired from A&M, and with Juan Last Husband still working there, I knew I had to bring this big darling back from the dead. The chippy legs and printing were gonna stay!I couldn't bring myself to retop the table with new boards so I worked madly on getting the double tongue and grooved boards back into shape. I even had to scrape off gum from the underside of the table, although I did leave one piece in honor of all those military boys who sat at this table and ate...after they parked their gum underneath!UPDATE: Love and Renovations posted about an old A&M table she saw at Round Top. Pictures are about halfway through her article. Amanda, the blogger, said, "This, my friends, is a table from Sbisa dining hall at Texas A&M. It lived there from 1912 to 1926..." Thanks Rosemary for sending the site my way! [...]

Round Top/ Warrenton NOW!


To the left is another great Texas entertainment center!

Me? I'm not old. I'm just a little rusty and the rest of my husband's junk!

Going to Round Top/Warrenton next weekend with my cousin buddies. Watch out, Treasures. Here we come!


The Mystery of the Whistling Terlet



My terlet whistles when it’s flushed.

Not the sputtering, low whistle like when you’re calling your dog with your mouth full of crackers but a long piercing whistle like you’re trying to get the attention of your friend Johnnie down the block.

The mystery of the whistling terlet started Sunday night after the warehouse lumber and hardware stores were all closed. My husband, Juan-Too-Many-Thumbs, has a policy: Never start a plumbing project when the plumbing parts stores are all closed. As much as I agree with that policy, it made for a long night.

You see, I have lots of things that make me lie awake at night - Christmas is less than a week away, I have an operation coming up the week after, and we’re contemplating building a house. And I’ve noticed it’s not just me awake for what feels like hours on end. Juan-Too-Many-Thumbs isn’t snoring as much or as loudly at night as he used to either.

What does this have to do with the whistling terlet? Well, it’s hard for a woman to wake at night without needing the services of said terlet. I usually resist the pull of the commode, not through stubbornness or laziness but because I know getting up will only make sleep move even further down the clock.

Knowing how hard sleep is for me, Juan-Too-Many-Thumbs usually gets up quietly during the night with only the creak of his knees alerting me he has risen. But last night, due to the mystery of the whistling terlet, when he got up, he turned on the faucets of both the tub and sink in our terlet room before he flushed, trying mightily to alleviate the whistling so it wouldn’t wake me. And it worked. No whistling. Only it made the terlet room sound like a CD of Niagara Falls.

And you know what the sound of running water does to a woman!